EPA says "fracking" could be contaminating groundwater

This past Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that hydraulic fracking could be the cause of groundwater pollution in Wyoming. Hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as fracking, is a process where natural gas is extracted from the earth. To speed up the process and ensure the flow of gas to the surface, pressurized water, sand and chemicals, are used to help ease the process.  Environmentalists have claimed this process contaminates groundwater but the industry has been refuting this claim.

The report finds that chemicals associated with fracking were found near groundwater supplies in a small town of Pavilion, Wyoming. Residents of Pavilion were concerned and asked the state to look into the matter for years, but concerns were escalated after they were told last year they could not drink or cook with their water and had to use a fan while they took a shower. The EPA study proves that the water is indeed unsafe to consume, but when the report was released the Governor of Wyoming Matt Mead said “before we draw any conclusions one way or another, we have to go back, do a peer review, do more testing, more analysis and whatever it is, it is”.

The natural gas industry produces 65% of Wyoming’s tax revenue and employs 19,000 people so the EPA report will not be welcomed by certain consistencies. One set of constituencies that are please with the report are the townspeople of Pavilion, Wyoming. Landowners don’t own minerals rights on their property, so they do not have control of where the wells are built or get any claim to the profits.  This is an important industry but as farmer John Fenton said “We’re paying the price for them to make a profit” and he doesn’t know if he poisoning his family or not.

At the end of the day, it is important to realize the growing need for the EPA and how we need environmental protections. The citizens of Pavilion, Wyoming have been asking for years for a report to be published to prove that their water smells like lighter fluid. Would you want to eat food that was grown with this water?  Would you like to bathe in water that has the same PH level as bleach?  I think not, and we at Earth Day Network commend the EPA in trying to protect groundwater sources for future generations to come